To The Editor:
On March 31st I had a pin surgically placed in my left hand index finger to repair a fracture sustained in a freak accident while riding my horse. The surgery was followed with a cast from fingertips to elbow of my left hand, leaving me temporarily disabled.
I called my doctor's office to advise of the incident and to ask what services might be available. I was given the phone number for 'Continuing Care.'
The trouble began last Friday when an intake "worker" called to make a needs assessment. I indicated I have long hair that I needed help getting washed and dried. To this, I was asked if I couldn't go out to get it done? I replied, that, even if I had a vehicle, it is unlikely that I could safely drive it with a thick cast on, so no. I indicated that I needed help to bring in firewood. The reply? They don't do that. I said that I needed help to empty two cat litter boxes - they don't do that either. I replied that I wasn't asking for help with my pets, but housekeeping. That too was a no go. I was also told to keep any pets shut in a room away from the workers.
What workers? So far, I had been told that everything I said I needed assistance with they don't do! I have two large dogs and four cats as well as my horse. I live in a very old house where the only room downstairs that can be closed is the bathroom. Even if I could, I would not shut my animals up. When I questioned this, the first reply was that some workers were allergic.
Why would you even send anyone with genuine allergies to an animal filled home? Shutting them into a room isn't going to mitigate any allergies. The next one was that some workers are afraid of being bitten and it's for their safety. Fine. I can understand that. So....why don't you have any workers that aren't afraid of animals?
A friend of mine in B.C. who happens to have a Masters degree in social Work was outraged when she heard what was going on. As she so aptly put it, this is a very rural area. It just isn't reasonable to think that residents wouldn't have multiples of pets and in some cases, livestock. As, amongst other things, I was asked for my health card number, it is obvious that this is a taxpayer funded agency. However, it was all about their needs and not mine. Therefore, I would like some answers as to why the policy makers don't make provision to service people's real needs, especially in rural environments.
Besides being injured, I am profoundly disgusted.
Katherine McNeil, River Philip